A Chicago woman charged with fatally beating her 4-year-old son in November 2011, was convicted of first-degree murder Thursday night.
Cook County jurors convicted 34-year-old Crystal Valdez after an hour of deliberations.
Valdez’s boyfriend, Cesar Ruiz, was convicted in Christopher’s murder in 2013 and was sentenced to 75 years in prison.
Although prosecutors did not specifically link the mother to the beating that caused the boy's death, witness testimony showed Valdez admitted to hitting the boy in the past, and prosecutors argued that she tried to cover up the boy's death, the Chicago Tribune reported.
"That little boy was tortured," Assistant State's Attorney Mary McMahon told jurors during opening statements Tuesday, the Tribune reported. "He suffered a beating so savage, so great that his little body couldn't take it any longer."
Christopher Valdez was discovered by his aunt and uncle the day after Thanksgiving in 2011, a day that was also the boy’s fourth birthday.
Katrine Valdez, Christopher’s’ aunt, had grown concerned about her nephew’s wellbeing after a neighbor came to warn the family, the Tribune reported.
Katrine and her husband entered the home where Crystal was and discovered the young boy’s body wrapped in a blankets. He was covered in bruises.
"I pulled it, the cover flipped over and Christopher was lying there on his side, his eyes open," she said in court.